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Professional Placement

Beginning in the semester 1 of the first year of study, all Teacher Education students observe and participate in classrooms in local schools and other educational settings.  Year 3 and 4 BEd (Hons) and PGCE students have a variety of opportunities to observe and teach in national and international classrooms.  These real-classroom experiences, done in conjunction with university coursework, help students integrate educational theory, research, and classroom practice.  Under guidance of tutors, students explore innovative examples of teaching and class orgainsation, analyse the techniques and skills which teachers need to develop, and plan activities which may be undertaken in school.

Practical experience in classrooms is essential to any programme of teacher preparation; therefore, you will spend a considerable portion of each academic year on placement.  The aim of the school-based programme is to enable students to develop the basic skills, attitudes and insights required to become a competent teacher.  We have a large number of successful partnerships with primary, post-primary, special schools, regional colleges and other education related contexts, making it possible to offer you a wide range of experiences.  The first school placement is organised so that a college tutor closely support pairs/groups of students.  Individual placement occurs as students progress in their studies, where the College tutor is both critical friend and assessor.

Students find work in schools challenging and interesting - although it can be exhausting!  Students find that the rewards in term of personal satisfication are high.

We are very conscious that some students who arrive in the University College can have a rather narrow range of experience of schools of different management types and we are keen to introduce you to a variety of schools from the outset.  Students will have opportunities to visit a range of schools with their peers in order to explore examples of good practice in creating an inclusive whole school environment and in relation to the curriculum, learning and teaching.

Our current placement portfolio also includes a number of multi-disciplinary contexts where students will have opportunities: to work in parallel with related professional groups; to undertake a period of placement in an international setting; and to undertake a placement in one of our partner schools in Kent, England.

Alternative Settings

In addition, during students' final year of study, they will have a placement in an alternative educational setting where they will have opportunities:

  • To liaise competently with a wide variety of agencies in the field of education.
  • To engage with a multi-disciplinary approach to educational issues.
  • To respond to the issues and challenges inherent in working with young people in schools and colleges.
  • To further develop and enhance a range of transferable personal, intellectual and study skills.
  • To explore platforms for professional/career development.